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100,000,000 Guinea Pigs : The Dangers of Consumption
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In 1927, responding to the seemingly overpowering claims of advertisers and mass marketers, engineer Frederick Schlink and economist Stuart Chase published Your Money's Worth, which argued for an "extension of the principle of buying goods according to impartial scientific tests rather than according to the fanfare and triumphs of higher salesmanship." Your Money's Worth became an instant best-seller, and the authors organized Consumers' Research, a testing bureau that provided information and published product tests in a new magazine, Consumers' Research Bulletin. The 1929 stock market crash heightened suspicion of consumer capitalism, and the magazine had 42,000 subscribers by 1932. In 1933, Schlink and Arthur Kallet (executive secretary of Consumers' Research) published 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs: Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics. The book struck a responsive chord in depression-era America--it went through thirteen printings in its first six months and became one of the best-selling books of the decade. The book's first chapter ("The Great American Guinea Pig"), gave a flavor of their vigorous arguments.

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U.S. History
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"1500 Doomed":  People's Press  Reports on the Gauley Bridge Disaster
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The deadly lung disease silicosis is caused when miners, sandblasters, and foundry and tunnel workers inhale fine particles of silica dust--a mineral found in sand, quartz, and granite. In 1935, approximately 1,500 workers--largely African Americans who had come north to find work--were killed by exposure to silica dust while building a tunnel in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia. Ordinarily, silicosis takes a several years to develop, but these West Virginia tunnel workers were falling ill in a matter of months because of exposure to unusually high concentrations of silica dust. The crisis over silicosis suddenly became a national issue, as seen in this article in the radical newspaper Peoples' Press . In 1936 congressional hearings on the Gauley Bridge disaster, it was revealed that company officials and engineers wore masks to protect themselves when they visited the tunnel, but they failed to provide masks for the tunnelers themselves, even when the workers requested them.

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U.S. History
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"80 Rounds in Our Pants Pockets": Orville Quick Remembers Pearl Harbor
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The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, stunned virtually everyone in the U.S. military: Japan's carrier-launched bombers found Pearl Harbor totally unprepared. In this 1991 interview, conducted by John Terreo for the Montana Historical Society, serviceman Orville Quick, who was assigned to build airfields and was very near Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941, remembers the attack. He also provided a vivid, and humorous, account of the chaos from a soldier's point of view.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"The A-Bomb Won't Do What You Think!": An Argument Against Reliance on Nuclear Weapons
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For four years after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II, America held a monopoly on the production of atomic weapons. During this period, debate centering on the use of nuclear bombs in future wars proliferated among government officials, scientists, religious leaders, and in the popular press. In the following article from Collier's, former Navy lieutenant commander William H. Hessler, using data from the Strategic Bombing Survey, argued that saturation bombing of urban areas during World War II, while devastating for civilians, did not achieve war aims. A future atomic war, therefore, might well destroy cities but fail to stop enemy aggression. Furthermore, with a much higher urban concentration than the Soviet Union, the U.S. had more to lose from atomic warfare. The article, while providing detailed explanations of the bomb's destructive capability, demonstrated the lack of information available regarding the long-term medical and ecological effects of radioactivity. Hessler's prose also evoked both the fascination that gadgetry of atomic warfare held for Americans of the time and the fear many felt about the risks involved in putting this technology to use. On September 24, 1949, one week after publication of this article, news that the Russians had conducted atom bomb tests shocked the nation. The following April, a National Security Council report to President Harry S. Truman advised development of a hydrogen bomb--some 1,000 times more destructive than an atom bomb--and a massive buildup of non-nuclear defenses. The subsequent outbreak of war in Korea in June 1950 justified to many a substantial increase in defense spending.

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U.S. History
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A. F. of L. Delegates.
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Faced with stiff business opposition, a conservative political climate, hostile courts, and declining membership, leaders of the American Federeration of Labor (AFL) grew increasingly cautious during the 1920s. Labor radicals viewed AFL leaders as overpaid, self-interested functionaries uninterested in organizing unorganized workers into unions. A cartoon by William Gropper published in the Communist Yiddish newspaper Freiheit (and reprinted in English in the New Masses ) caricatures delegates to a 1926 AFL convention in Atlantic City. Well

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U.S. History
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"AIDS Is an Illness of People of Color": Health Service Organizations Advocate Increased Federal Funding to Prevent AIDS in Minority Communities
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In 1981, the U.S. medical community noticed a significant number of gay men living in urban areas with rare forms of pneumonia, cancer, and lymph disorders. The cluster of ailments was initially dubbed Gay-Related Immune Disease (GRID), but when similar illnesses increased in other groups, the name changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The mid-1980s saw a number of advances toward understanding and treating the disease, but no vaccine or cure was forthcoming. Gay advocacy and community-based organizations began providing services and pressuring government to increase funding for finding a cure and helping victims. As two representatives of AIDS health services organizations stated in the following 1987 testimony to Congress, AIDS spread in disproportionately high numbers throughout U.S. minority and disadvantaged communities. They advocated increased federal funding for prevention efforts targeted at minority communities and administered by community-based organizations. Despite such efforts, the number of minority AIDS cases continued to rise sharply, and by 1996, African Americans accounted for a higher percentage of reported adult cases of AIDS (41%) than did whites.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"Achieving an Atmosphere of Mutual Trust and Confidence": Henry A. Wallace Offers an Alternative to Cold War Containment
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Allies during World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union disagreed over a number of issues after the war. These included control of Eastern Europe, division of Germany, atomic energy, international loans, and the Middle East. On February 9, 1946, Soviet premier Josef Stalin asserted that the continued existence of capitalism in the West would inevitably lead to war. Foreign Service senior diplomat George Kennan sent President Harry Truman, still forming a Soviet policy, a lengthy telegram advocating containment. Commerce Secretary Henry A. Wallace--Secretary of Agriculture (1933-1941) and Vice-President from (1941-1945)--was one of the few liberal idealists in Truman's cabinet. Wallace envisioned a "century of the common man" marked by global peace and prosperity. In the following excerpt from a letter dated July 23, 1946, Wallace urged Truman to build "mutual trust and confidence" in order to achieve "an enduring international order." Truman asked Wallace to resign. In March 1947, Truman asked Congress for money "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Thus articulated, the "Truman Doctrine" of containment served as the rationale for future American Cold War foreign policy initiatives.

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U.S. History
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"The Act Has Not Failed": A Call to Extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965
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The Voting Rights Act of 1965--called "the most successful civil rights law in the nation's history" by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights--was enacted in order to force Southern states and localities to allow all citizens of voting age to vote in public elections. Although the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, guaranteed citizens the right to vote regardless of race, discriminatory requirements, such as literacy tests, disenfranchised many African Americans in the South. In 1965, following the murder of a voting rights activist by an Alabama sheriff's deputy and the subsequent attack by state troopers on a massive protest march in Selma, President Lyndon B. Johnson pressed Congress to pass a voting rights bill with "teeth". The Act, signed into law on August 6, applied to states or counties where fewer than half of the citizens of voting age were registered in 1964--Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and numerous counties in North Carolina. For these areas, the law banned literacy tests, appointed Federal examiners to oversee election procedures, and, according to the Act's controversial Section 5, required approval by the U.S. Attorney General of future changes to election laws. In the following letter to a 1969 Senate subcommittee hearing on extending the Act, New Jersey Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr., provided statistics to show the law's effect. The position described in the letter was Attorney General John Mitchell's proposal to replace Section 5 with an oversight mechanism more amenable to the white South. Ultimately, on June 22, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a bill that extended the Act's provisions--including Section 5--for five additional years, and in addition, lowered the voting age throughout the country to 18.

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U.S. History
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Actions speak louder than words.
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"The Land of Liberty" was the ironic title of this cartoon published in an 1847 edition of the British satirical weekly Punch. As the cartoon suggests, Americans faced a number of dilemmas and crises that came to revolve around the institution of slavery and its expansion into the West. As slavery became more entrenched in Southern social and economic life, the war against Mexico, the forced removal of Native Americans from the Southeastern United States, and conflicts between rich and poor whites all highlighted the conflicts within Southern society and between the North and South about the place of slavery in a rapidly expanding republic.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Address of the Colored State Convention to the People of the State of South Carolina
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In November 1865 a group of 52 black delegates met in Charleston's Zion Church to formulate a position regarding their future in the still uncertain world of the post-emancipation South. Their address invoked the language of the Declaration of Independence to claim full rights of citizenship for themselves, rights that were endangered by widespread southern "Black Codes." The Black Codes were a series of laws introduced in the months after the war by the reconstituted state legislatures of the South. These laws were enacted to restrict the movements and employment possibilities of blacks regardless of whether they had been free or enslaved before the war?in essence to replace the constrictions of slavery.

Subject:
U.S. History
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"After the Ball": Lyrics from the Biggest Hit of the 1890s
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The 1890s witnessed the emergence of a commercial popular music industry in the United States. Sales of sheet music, enabling consumers to play and sing songs in their own parlors, skyrocketed during the "Gay Nineties," led by Tin Pan Alley, the narrow street in midtown Manhattan that housed the country's major music publishers and producers. Although Tin Pan Alley was established in the 1880s, it only achieved national prominence with the first "platinum" song hit in American music history--Charles K. Harris's "After the Ball"--that sold two million pieces of sheet music in 1892 alone. "After the Ball's" sentimentality ultimately helped sell over five million copies of sheet music, making it the biggest hit in Tin Pan Alley's long history. Typical of most popular 1890s tunes, the song was a tearjerker, a melodramatic evocation of lost love.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
After the Execution
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The climate of repression established in the name of wartime security during World War I continued after the war as the U.S. government persecuted communists, Bolsheviks, and reds." Caught up in this "Red Scare

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Against Isolationism: James F. Byrnes Refutes Lindbergh
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The interwar peace movement was arguably the largest mass movement of the 1920s and 1930s, a mobilization often overlooked in the wake of the broad popular consensus that ultimately supported the U.S. involvement in World War II. The destruction wrought in World War I (known in the 1920s and 1930s as the "Great War") and the cynical nationalist politics of the Versailles Treaty had left Americans disillusioned with the Wilsonian crusade to save the world for democracy. Senate investigations of war profiteering and shady dealings in the World War I munitions industry both expressed and deepened widespread skepticism about wars of ideals. Charles Lindbergh, popular hero of American aviation, had been speaking in support of American neutrality for some time, and allies of FDR's interventionist foreign policy sought to counter the arguments of the famous aviator. In a May 19, 1940, radio speech, Senator James F. Byrnes of South Carolina refuted Lindbergh's position, specifically rebutting a speech Lindbergh had given on military spending.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"Aint I A Woman": Reminiscences of Sojourner Truth Speaking
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Isabelle Van Wagenen was born enslaved in New York State and became a well-known abolitionist speaker under the name Sojourner Truth after gaining her freedom in 1827. She moved to New York City where she engaged in evangelical and other reform activities; at various points she also lived in several utopian communities. Truth supported herself by traveling and speaking on abolitionist and women's rights subjects, taking the name Sojourner Truth in 1843. She often faced opposition at her speaking engagements. Truth made this extemporaneous speech in Akron Ohio in 1851 at a women's rights meeting. No direct record of the speech exists, but Frances Gage, a white activist and author who was presiding over the meeting, recalled it over a decade later. While some historians have questioned Gage's accuracy in reconstructing the syntax and even the exact language of Truth's oration, the power and charismatic force of her argument about the equality of women remains evident.

Subject:
U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Air Waves "are in the Public Domain": Public Television Advocacy in the 1950s
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Although educational radio stations flourished in the early 1920s--more than 200 existed prior to the introduction of network radio in 1926--most faltered shortly thereafter. One reason was the alignment of the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), created by legislation declaring that the airwaves belonged to the public, with commercial interests. When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) replaced the FRC in 1934, educational, religious, and labor groups promoted an amendment requiring the allocation of one-fourth of all broadcast licenses to nonprofit organizations. The amendment failed to pass, and by 1937, only 38 educational radio stations remained in operation. In 1948, as sales of televisions skyrocketed, Freida B. Hennock, the first female FCC commissioner, began a campaign to assign channel frequencies for nonprofit, educational use. Advocates backing Hennock documented the high number of acts or threats of violence shown to children every week on commercial television broadcasts. Consequently, when the FCC in 1952 added UHF (ultra high frequency) channels to the existing VHF (very high frequency) channels, they reserved 10 percent for use by nonprofit educational organizations. In the following testimony to a 1955 Congressional subcommittee, Hennock advocated oversight of commercial television by governmental and civic bodies and championed educational television. The testimony from the general manager of a new Pittsburgh educational station, William Wood, follows. Wood emphasized the lack of violence in his 'poverty stricken' station's programming and included excerpts from fan mail praising an acclaimed children's show, The Children's Corner, a program co-produced by Fred Rogers, who later created, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Until 1967, however, when the Federal government established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to appropriate funds for public television, non-commercial stations struggled to survive.

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U.S. History
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
The Air is Sweet and Clear, the Heavens Serene, like the South Parts of France: William Penn Advertises for Colonists for Pennsylvania, 1683.
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William Penn, a well placed English gentlemen and a Quaker, turned an old debt into a charter for the proprietary colony called "Pennsylvania," (all the land between New Jersey and Maryland) Penn took great pains in setting up his colony; twenty drafts survive of his First Frame of Government, the colony's 1682 constitution. Penn was determined to deal fairly and maintain friendly relations with the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians. He laid out in great detail the city of Philadelphia as well as organized other settlements and established the Free Society of Traders to control commerce with England. He sent back glowing accounts of the colony to his English friends and patrons. This Letter to the Free Society of Traders, published in 1683, has been recognized as the most effective of his promotional tracts. And it proved successful; by 1700 Pennsylvania's population reached 21,000.

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U.S. History
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"All Men Are Born Free and Equal": Massachusetts Yeomen Oppose the "Aristocratickal" Constitution, January, 1788.
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The constitution of the United States was composed in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Afterward, ratifying conventions were held in the states. In Massachusetts, site of the previous year's Shay's Rebellion against government enforcement of private debt collection, ratification did not go uncontested. Farmers from the western part of the state, such as the "yeomen" who signed this letter published in the Massachusetts Gazette in January, 1788, were suspicious of the power that the constitution seemed to centralize in elite hands. Rural smallholders were not the only ones who felt this way, however. Thomas Jefferson, then in Paris as the United States' minister to France, felt similarly. Massachusetts ratified the constitution on February 7, 1788.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All Our Problems Stem from the Same Sex Based Myths": Gloria Steinem Delineates American Gender Myths during ERA Hearings
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In the years following the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment extending voting rights to women, the National Woman's Party, the radical wing of the suffrage movement, advocated passage of a constitutional amendment to make discrimination based on gender illegal. The first Congressional hearing on the equal rights amendment (ERA) was held in 1923. Many female reformers opposed the amendment in fear that it would end protective labor and health legislation designed to aid female workers and poverty-stricken mothers. A major divide, often class-based, emerged among women's groups. While the National Woman's Party and groups representing business and professional women continued to push for an ERA, passage was unlikely until the 1960s, when the revived women's movement, especially the National Organization for Women (NOW), made the ERA priority. The 1960s and 1970s saw important legislation enacted to address sex discrimination in employment and education--most prominently, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act--and on March 22, 1972, Congress passed the ERA. The proposed amendment expired in 1982, however, with support from only 35 states÷three short of the required 38 necessary for ratification. Strong grassroots opposition emerged in the southern and western sections of the country, led by anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schafly. Schlafly charged that the amendment would create a "unisex society" while weakening the family, maligning the homemaker, legitimizing homosexuality, and exposing girls to the military draft. In the following 1970 Senate hearing, author and editor Gloria Steinem argued that opposition to the ERA was supported by deep-seated societal myths about gender that exaggerated difference, ignored factual evidence of inequitable treatment, denied the importance of the women's movement, and promoted male domination.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All Over the Land Nothing Else Was Spoken Of ": Cabeza de Vaca Takes Up Residence as a Medicine Man in the Southwest, 1530s
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One of the earliest accounts of the European-Indian encounter in North America was of the ill-fated 1527 expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez. After disembarking on the Florida coast near Tampa, the Spanish forces on land and sea became disastrously separated. Having overstayed their welcome and with local Indians in pursuit, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, second in command, set out with his men on rafts back to Cuba. Eighty survivors came through a hurricane to land near Galveston, Texas. Four years later, in 1536, when they were rescued in northern Mexico by Spanish slave traders, only four remained: Cabeza de Vaca, two other Spaniards, and an African named Estevan. In his epic Relacions (1542), Cabeza de Vaca recounted how he was frequently called upon to cure natives that they encountered, which led to the natives' adoration. Since the Indians left no written sources, what little we know about the coming of the European explorers and their early encounters with the Indians often comes from European accounts such as this.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All That Is Passed Away": A Young Indian Praises U.S. Government Policy in the Late 19th century
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Federal officials and reformers regarded education as the linchpin in the government's efforts to Americanize and assimilate Native Americans, which became the dominant federal policy starting in 1887. They placed the greatest stock in off-reservation boarding schools, because they removed Indian youths from their home environment and culture. The U.S. Training and Industrial School founded in 1879 at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, was the model for most of these schools. Ellis B. Childers, a Creek Indian student at Carlisle, wrote approvingly in his school newspaper about the visit of a large delegation of educated Indians to the school in 1882.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All These Mean Dykes Standing Around:"Shelley Ettinger Describes the Lesbian and Gay Community of the 1970s
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The women's movement of the 1970's sent shock-waves through every corner of American life, transforming the way people thought about families, jobs, and every day interactions. By questioning traditional sex roles, feminism also encouraged the growth of the gay and lesbian rights movement. Previously, many gay men and lesbians had concealed their sexuality, but the 1970's witnessed the growth of assertive and visible gay and lesbian alternative cultures. As a college student at the University of Michigan and a union activist within the city bus company, Shelley Ettinger remembered living and participating in an active, assertive lesbian culture during the mid-1970's. Although gay men and lesbians still faced harassment and discrimination, they were no longer afraid to express their identities or to speak out against bias and discrimination.

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U.S. History
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Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All To Me Was New and Strange": Mary Doolittle Leaves Her Family for a Shaker Community, 1830
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During the second quarter of the 19th century numerous radical movements emerged, and some withdrew from society and formed ideal or utopian communities. The Shakers (or Shaking Quakers) were the oldest and largest of these utopian movements, founded in Great Britain by Mother Ann Lee, who arrived in North America in 1774. Shakers abandoned the traditional family in favor of a new fellowship of men and women who lived as brothers and sisters, worked in agriculture and artisanal crafts, and adopted the practices of cooperation and celibacy. Many were attracted to their communitarian message, especially women like Mary Doolittle of New Lebanon, New York, who joined the local Shakers (the second of what became 19 communities stretching from New England, across New York, to Ohio and Kentucky). Doolittle narrates her initial emotional conflict between family and belief, and the suspicion, even hostility, of local people toward her new "Family," as Shaker units were called.

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U.S. History
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All We Are Seeking Here Is Equal Opportunity": The American G.I. Forum Desegregates a Texas Community's Schools
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With the annexation of Texas in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War, Tejanos--Texans of Mexican descent--lost property rights and political power in a society dominated by Anglos. Through discriminatory practices and violent force, Tejanos were kept at the bottom of the new political and socio-cultural order. From 1900-1930, as an influx of immigrants from Mexico came north to meet a growing demand for cheap labor in the developing commercial agriculture industries, Tejanos experienced continued discrimination in employment, housing, public facilities, the judicial system, and educational institutions. Many school districts segregated Tejano and Anglo children into separate facilities with the Mexican schools grossly underfunded and often offering only a grade school education. In 1930, when 90% of the schools in South Texas were segregated, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a Tejano advocacy group organized the previous year, supported the first major court challenge in Texas to end school segregation. The Texas Court of Appeals, however, ruled that school districts could use such criteria as language and irregular attendance due to seasonal work to separate children in school. The struggle of Mexican Americans to end discriminatory practices accelerated following World War II. In 1948, LULAC and the newly formed American G.I. Forum, an advocacy group of Mexican American veterans, assisted in a lawsuit. The federal district court ruling in that case prohibited school segregation based on Mexican ancestry. Localities devised ways to evade the ruling, however, and de facto segregation continued. Student protests in the late 1960s achieved an end to some discriminatory practices. In subsequent years a new civil rights organization, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), continued the fight in the courts, eventually concentrating on the introduction of bilingual and bicultural programs into schools. In the following interview, Ed Idar, associated with both the Forum and MALDEF, related a successful grassroots effort in the early 1950s to desegregate a school without a court ruling.

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U.S. History
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Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"All the Colored Women Like This Work": Black Workers During World War I
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Wartime production demanded the mobilization of thousands of workers to make steel and rubber, to work in petrochemical industries, and to build ships. As a result, African Americans made striking gains in employment even while also facing continuing discrimination. Black women, for example, got jobs working on the railroads for the first time during the world war. Black women found jobs as laborers, cleaning cars, wiping engines, tending railroad beds. Helen Ross was one of them, working for the Santa Fe Railroad. In an interview with the Women's Service Section of U.S. Railroad Administration, Ross described the advantages of her railroad job. Nevertheless, the same agency later declared such work too heavy for women.

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U.S. History
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Author:
Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
"Almost Broken Spirits": Farmers in the New South
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In the decades following the Confederacy's 1865 defeat and the abolition of racial slavery, white southern landowners, entrepreneurs, and newspaper editors heralded the coming of a "New South" economic order. Freed from the plantation system, the South would enter the modern age, building factories to turn its cotton into cloth, its tobacco crop into finished cigars and cigarettes, and its growing coal and iron ore output into steel. But not all southerners benefited from a prosperous and industrialized New South. Mill workers, small farmers, and tenants and sharecroppers bore the brunt of the sacrifices required to build a new southern economy. These extracts from letters by tenants and farm laborers to the North Carolina Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1887 and 1889 described the depressed crop prices, usurious interest rates charged by landowners for seed and equipment, and the absence of decent schooling for children faced by southern agricultural workers.

Subject:
U.S. History
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American Social History Project / Center for History Media and Learning
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Center for History and New Media/American Social History Project
Altared States: Marriage Ends an Organizer's Career
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In 1889, Knights of Labor General Investigator Leonora Barry surprised the union by recommending that the Woman's Department, which she headed, be disbanded. "There can be no separation or distinction of wage workers on account of sex," she argued, "and a separate department for the interests of women is a direct contradiction of this." The Knights rejected her recommendations, and Barry continued her organizing work. What finally halted Barry's organizing efforts--and the work of the union's Woman's Department--was her marriage in 1890 to Obadiah Read Lake, a St. Louis Knight and printer. Terrence V. Powderly, the head of the Knights, had not always fully supported Barry's efforts and his readiness to see her marriage as the equivalent of her death (as this letter to a fellow Knight revealed) showed the limitations of the Knights' commitment to women's full participation. Although Barry's labor organizing ended, she remained active in temperance, women's suffrage, and other progressive causes.

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"Aluminum for Defense": Rationing at Home during World War II
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The productive capacity of the United States during World War II surpassed all expectations. To boost that production and maintain supply levels for troops abroad, Americans at home were asked to conserve materials and to accept ration coupons or stamps that limited the purchase of certain products. Gasoline, rubber, sugar, butter, and some kinds of cloth were among the many items rationed. American responses to rationing varied from cheerful compliance to resigned grumbling to instances of black market subversion and profiteering. Government-sponsored posters, ads, radio shows, and pamphlet campaigns urged Americans to contribute to scrap drives and accept rationing without complaint. "Aluminum for Defense," a comic program from New York's radio station WOR in 1941, conveyed some of the tone of these campaigns. This excerpt, complete with clashing pots and pans, moved from Times Square to Harlem to the tony Stork Club.

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"Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?"
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African-American women held as slaves were particularly vulnerable to abuse at the hands of their white owners. This engraving appeared in abolitionist George Bourne's Slavery Illustrated in Its Effects upon Women, published in 1837. It highlighted the connections between the anti-slavery and women's rights movements, as some women abolitionists, such as Sarah and Angelina Grimke, used the anti-slavery cause to address their own plight as women. The connections they drew were highly controversial, and many anti-slavery organizations were split over the issue of women's rights.

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"The Amazonian Convention."
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An organized movement led by women and dedicated to winning equality took formal shape at the first women's rights convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Many of the women who took part had been active in other social causes, such as the abolition of slavery, before joining the struggle for women's rights. In this 1859 cartoon published in Harper's Weekly, hecklers disrupted the proceedings of a women's-rights meeting.

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"An Amendment That Requires Both Sexes to Be Treated Equally": A Men's Rights Activist Voices Support for the ERA
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In the years following the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment extending voting rights to women, the National Woman's Party, the radical wing of the suffrage movement, advocated passage of a constitutional amendment to make discrimination based on gender illegal. The first Congressional hearing on the equal rights amendment (ERA) was held in 1923. Many female reformers opposed the amendment in fear that it would end protective labor and health legislation designed to aid female workers and poverty-stricken mothers. A major divide, often class-based, emerged among women's groups. While the National Woman's Party and groups representing business and professional women continued to push for an ERA, passage was unlikely until the 1960s, when the revived women's movement, especially the National Organization for Women (NOW), made the ERA priority. The 1960s and 1970s saw important legislation enacted to address sex discrimination in employment and education--most prominently, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the 1972 Higher Education Act--and on March 22, 1972, Congress passed the ERA. The proposed amendment expired in 1982, however, with support from only 35 states÷three short of the required 38 necessary for ratification. Strong grassroots opposition emerged in the southern and western sections of the country, led by anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schafly. Schlafly charged that the amendment would create a "unisex society" while weakening the family, maligning the homemaker, legitimizing homosexuality, and exposing girls to the military draft. In the following document submitted in 1984 to a House committee considering a new bill to enact the ERA, a male rights advocate assessed potential legal benefits men might receive due to its passage.

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"The American Dream Does Not Yet Exist for All Our Citizens": Kerner Commission Members Discuss Civil Unrest
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President Lyndon Johnson formed an 11-member National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in July 1967 to explain the riots that plagued cities each summer since 1964 and to provide recommendations for the future. The Commission's 1968 report, informally known as the Kerner Report, concluded that the nation was "moving toward two societies, one black, one white--separate and unequal." Unless conditions were remedied, the Commission warned, the country faced a "system of 'apartheid'" in its major cities. The Kerner report delivered an indictment of "white society" for isolating and neglecting African Americans and urged legislation to promote racial integration and to enrich slums--primarily through the creation of jobs, job training programs, and decent housing. President Johnson, however, rejected the recommendations. In April 1968, one month after the release of the Kerner report, rioting broke out in more than 100 cities following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. In the following statements to a joint Congressional committee, two Commission members summarized their findings and recommended the creation of jobs. In 1998, 30 years after the Kerner Report, Harris co-authored a study that found the racial divide had grown in the ensuing years with inner-city unemployment at crisis levels. Opposing voices argued that the Commission's prediction of separate societies failed to materialize due to a marked increase in the number of African Americans living in suburbs.

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"The American Frankenstein."
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Inspired by Mary Shelley's novel about a man-made monster who turned upon its creator, this cartoon depicted the railroad trampling the rights of the American people. Agriculture

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American Soldiers in the Philippines Write Home about the War
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During the U.S. war in the Philippines between 1899 and 1904 (which grew out of the Spanish-American War that had erupted in 1898), ordinary American soldiers shared the nationalist zeal of their commanders and pursued the Filipino "enemy" with brutality and sometimes outright lawlessness. Racism, which flourished in the United States in this period, led American soldiers to repeatedly assert their desire "to get at the niggers." An anti-imperialist movement, which rejected annexation by the United States of former Spanish colonies like Puerto Rico and the Philippines, attempted to build opposition at home to the increasingly brutal war. Although few soldiers joined the anti-imperialist cause, their statements did sometimes provide ammunition for the opponents of annexation and war. In 1899, the Anti-Imperialist League published a pamphlet of Soldiers Letters, with the provocative subtitle: "Being Materials for a History of a War of Criminal Aggression." Historian Jim Zwick notes that the publication "was immediately controversial. Supporters of the war discounted the accounts of atrocities as the boasting of soldiers wanting to impress their friends and families at home or, because the identities of some of the writers were withheld from publication, as outright fabrications." But the brutal portrayal of the war that is found in these letters (excerpts from twenty-seven of them are included here) is supported in other accounts.

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The American Woman's Home
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The rise of a new Northern middle class brought with it new ideals of family life and gender roles. While men worked outside the home, women were to preside over the domestic sphere, not only by performing household labor but also by setting a moral example for children and creating a haven that was protected from the outside world. This frontispiece and title page came from a popular 1869 guide to the formation and Maintenance of Economical

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"An American soldier of the Antitank Co., 34th Regiment who was killed by mortar fire."
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Combatants in World War II possessed far greater firepower than ever before. Consequently, the incidence of death and mutilation in units actually fighting the enemy was extremely high, sometimes one in three. World War II was the first war in which combat deaths actually outnumbered fatalities from disease or accident. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wartime government carefully controlled what information reached the American public from the battle fronts. Until September, 1943, government censors blocked the publication of all photographs showing dead American soldiers. After that, censors continued to withhold many pictures such as this photograph taken on Leyte Island in the Philippines on October 31, 1944that did not, even in death, conform to the heroic image of the American fighting man.

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The  Amistad  Rebellion
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In July 1839, captive West Africans rebelled and took over the Spanish slaveship Amistad . They ordered the owners to Africa but, instead, the Amistad was taken on a meandering course, finally waylaid by a U.S. Navy brig. The Africans were charged with the murder of the captain and jailed in New Haven, Connecticut. Abolitionists came to their support; ex-President John Quincy Adams represented them in court. After a long legal battle, the Supreme Court freed the "mutineers" in 1841. The following year they returned to Africa.

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"Among the Most Exploited": Fair Labor Standards Act and Laundry Workers
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Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on June 25, 1938, the last major piece of New Deal legislation. The act outlawed child labor and guaranteed a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour and a maximum work week of 40 hours, benefiting more than 22 million workers. Although the law helped establish a precedent for the Federal regulation of work conditions, conservative forces in Congress effectively exempted many workers, such as waiters, cooks, janitors, farm workers, and domestics, from its coverage. In October 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1949, raising the minimum wage to 75 cents hour and extending coverage, but still leaving many workers unprotected. In the following statement to the 1949 Senate subcommittee on FLSA amendments, members of the laundry workers' union detailed the working conditions of laundry workers, argued that fair wages would not bankrupt commercial laundries, and called upon Congress to extend protection to laundry workers. The questioner, Senator Claude Pepper (D-Florida), a key advocate for the 1938 legislation, chaired the 1949 hearings and pushed the amendments through Senate and conference committees.

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Anacostia flats and flames.
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The Bonus March was one of several grassroots movements of the unemployed during the Great Depression that galvanized thousands of men and women and helped focus attention on the role of the federal government in alleviating economic hardship. Twenty thousand World War I veterans marched to Washington to demand the immediate release of promised cash bonuses and set up camp until their demands were met. With President Herbert Hoover's authorization, federal troops, armed with tanks and cavalry, attacked the homeless veterans and burned their encampment. When images like this photograph, which shows the Bonus Marchers' shantytown burning down in sight of the Capitol on the afternoon of July 28, 1932, reached the public, Hoover's image was permanently tarnished.

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An Anarchist by Any Other Name: Albert Parsons and Anarchist Socialism
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Few terms have been surrounded with as much myth and misunderstanding as "anarchism." Part of the difficulty is that there are many kinds of anarchists. The high point of American anarchism surely came in the 1880s in the movement led by Chicago "Social Revolutionaries," such as Lucy and Albert Parsons. Contrary to the stereotype, anarchists like the Parsons did not object to order itself but to the oppressive forms of order imposed by the capitalist state. Albert Parsons also frankly acknowledged the belief shared by other anarchists in his circle that social transformation would only come through revolution, "through bloodshed and violence." What is perhaps less clear from the statement is Parsons's simultaneous commitment to trade unionism as the primary agency of social change. In this 1887 essay, "What Is Anarchism?" social revolutionary Parsons explained how his strain of anarchist socialism derived its name and purpose from the Greek words for "no" and "government."

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